Delhi: It was a heartwarming message from Ranbir Kapoor via Instagram last year that made everyone take notice of Pakistani actress Mawra Hocane. All of 22, the Karachi-born Mawra grew up in Islamabad, completed her pre-medical education from Bahria College and enrolled for LLB at the University College of Islamabad before she decided to join the showbiz industry. All set to make her Bollywood debut opposite South actor Harshavardhan Rane in this week’s release ‘Sanam Teri Kasam’, the actress speaks to IBNLive.com about her expectations from the film, the impact of Ban Mawra campaign and a lot more.
With just a day left for the film’s release, the actress tells us she isn’t bundle of nerves. For, she made constant efforts to keep improving as an actor with every sequence she enacted in the film. “I have worked to the best of my abilities for my Bolywood debut. I have given my best for every scene that I performed in the film, which is why I’m not at all nervous. While I’m happy because the expectations from the film are huge, I’m also gratified with my growth as an actor. I’m progressing in the right direction.”
While she wants her debut film to get all the eyeballs, she isn’t paying any attention to the money it will mint at the Box Office. “I’m not bothered about the film’s business or how it will do at the Box Office. I will be excited if the story touches people’s hearts. I’m not claiming it to do well on a commercial level. Frankly, I don’t even understand the business of filmmaking.”
Song ‘Tu Kheech Meri Photo’ from ‘Sanam Teri Kasam’ which features Mawra’s character doing weird things including spewing water on Harshavardhan’s face has already become Bollywood’s selfie anthem of the year. For the uninitiated, the song features Mawra taking swigs of alcohol and performing bizarre acts, much like what Kajol did in ‘Zara Sa Jhoom Loon’. Referring to the song as her ‘DDLJ’ moment, Mawra tells us she isn’t trying to imitate Kajol. “If I enjoyed watching ‘DDLJ’ as a kid, I would also want the kids to have the same experience while watching me dance to ‘Kheench Meri Photo’. I have seen ‘DDLJ’ so many times that I have lost the count. But I can assure you that I won’t forget even a single dialogue from the film if played on the mute mode. As far as the similarity with ‘DDLJ’ song goes it is just limited to a young girl being funny and crazy.”
So is it important to be a bit crazy to attain success and recognition in life? “I wouldn’t say it is only about being crazy in real life. I’m happy about the fact that I’m still so grounded even after tasting success in Pakistan’s showbiz industry. I haven’t lost it despite all the adulation and success that I have witnessed. I’m still connected to my family. I speak to them at least 5 times a day to ensure I stay grounded. My sister is an actress too and we help each other a lot to understand different aspects of showbiz. Hence, it has nothing to do with madness; it is all about being passionate about one’s job. And that happens only if you love your job.”
Mawra, who has garnered huge popularity in Pakistan, recently drew flak from senior Pakistani actor Shan after her tweets objecting to the ban of Saif Ali Khan-Katrina Kaif starrer ‘Phantom’ in the country were misinterpreted. But her open letter wherein she tried to guard her decision helped her win support from several colleagues.
“A fan had casually asked me if one should watch ‘Phantom’. All I told him was, “I would like to watch Phantom and then decide whether it’s good or bad… And that’s what one should do.” But the incident was blown out of proportion, fabricated and manipulated. With that one incident, I realized that hatred is one emotion which can be triggered very easily. But I was happy about the fact that every actor from Pakistan came out in the open to support me. Be it Mahira, Ali Zafar or the rest, they all supported me for taking a stand. They all said it was uncalled for. The person who started the campaign suffered too. I don’t hold anything against him. But with that incident I realized in the present times, if a person asks someone to hate an actor, the impact becomes huge.”
Has the reactions that the incident triggered made her a lot more mindful about what she post on the social media? “Nobody knows what will trigger what reaction. Honestly, when I posted ‘Phantom’ comments, it was done with pure and honest intentions. But it was manipulated and taken to a completely different level. I’m not conscious of what I’m sharing on social media but yes, I do think a lot more now. I’ll continue to be myself and organic.”
While there have been several imported talents from across the border, many feel it is Fawad Khan’s success in Bollywood that has given many Pakistani actors a dream to achieve stardom. But Mawra feels that trend of success stories started with Ali Zafar bagging Bollywood projects. “Fawad is doing great work. But it was Ali Zafar who gave many the hope to make it big here. The entire Pakistan was thrilled when the news of Ali being paired opposite Katrina Kaif and Imran Khan surfaced. It was huge.”